Utility Tax

Utility taxes are levied on the gross income earned by private utilities from operations within the city of University Place boundaries. Taxable utilities include electric, water, sewer, natural gas, cable, cellular, telephone, solid waste, and stormwater.

State law limits the rate of utility tax on cellular, telephone, and natural gas to 6% unless voters approve a higher rate. There are no restrictions on the tax for solid waste. Cable TV must not be taxed at a rate substantially different than other utilities.

The table below indicates the different utility rates assessed in the city of University Place:

Utility  2022 Rate 2023 Rate
Electric 6.0% 6.0%
Water 6.0% 6.0%
Sewer 6.0% 6.0%
Natural Gas 6.0% 6.0%
Cable 6.0% 6.0%
Cellular 6.0% 6.0%
Telephone 6.0% 6.0%
Solid Waste 6.0% 6.0%
Stormwater 6.0% 6.0%

Utility taxes are due by the last day of the month following the end of the monthly period in which the tax is accrued. Payments not remitted to the city of University Place by the due date will accrue the following penalties and interest:

  • 1 to 10 days late – 10% penalty;
  • 11 to 20 days late – 15% penalty;
  • 21 to 30 days late – 20% penalty;
  • 31 or more days late – 25% penalty; and
  • Interest will be charged on all taxes due at a rate of 1% per month that said amounts are past due.

Please contact the Finance Department at 253.460.2547 to request the appropriate tax return form.